PI5 Psychedelic Sixties Lamp

Psychedelic Sixties LampMaybe you're old enough to remember the Sixties ... or maybe you just watch too much Nik at Night! Peace signs, VW buses,  embroidered jeans and lava lamps were part of groovin' to that whole scene, baby. Am I the only one here who remembers the Jefferson Airplane? Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention? (Uh oh, showing my age here!)

Oh well, if you weren't even alive during the Sixties, or you were just totally out of it and miss those funky flashbacks, you don't have to be culturally deprived any longer. You can make your own far out psychedelic Sixties lamp in PI and like light some incense and dig yourself!

I've made the base of this lamp rather large because we'll be editing its path, and it's easier to work with at a larger size. Later on you'll resize the lamp base to make it smaller. You'll also learn to use the Bezier/Polygon Path Drawing tool to make the lamp itself and to edit straight lines into curves with the Path Edit tool. If you have trouble though, you can just download the UFO ZIP kit.

Start by making a new True Color image 400 pixels wide X 400 pixels high. Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select 3D from the Mode dropdown list. Click in the Color box and choose black. Click Shape, Rectangle. Draw a black rectangle like the one at left for the lamp base.

make lamp base

Select the Path Edit tool. In the Attributes toolbar click the Toggle button. The object will disappear, replaced by its rectangular path. Click on the path to display its control points.

display control points

In the Attributes toolbar, click on "Add point." On the left vertical path line, add a control point. On the right vertical path line add another control point. Try to get the points on the same horizontal plane.

adding control points

In the Attributes toolbar, click on "Pick point."

edit point

Click on the newly added control point on the left vertical line to select it. The solid red square will become hollow. Drag the control point toward the center of the object, narrowing it. Repeat for the control point on the right side.

drag control points to reshape

Click on the bottom horizontal path line to select it. It will turn red. In the Attributes toolbar, choose "Convert path to curve segment." Click on the bottom right control point to select it, which makes the control point hollow. Two smaller red squares appear. These are kind of like "fulcrums" on which you can drag to reshape the curve of the bottom line.

select bottom line to curve it

Drag down a bit on the small red squares, creating a slightly rounded bottom on the lamp base.

drag squares to curve bottom

Click on the top horizontal path line to select it. It will turn red. Just as you did for the bottom of the base, you will curve this line slightly downward. In the Attributes toolbar, make sure that "Convert path to curve segment" is selected. Click on the top right control point to select it and turn it hollow. Drag down a little on the small red squares to create a shallow curve at the top of the base.

curve top of base

Click on the Toggle button in the Attributes toolbar again to display your 3D Round lamp base. Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar click Options, Galleries, Material, which opens the EasyPalette's Material Gallery. Choose 3D Collection and double click Black to apply. In the Attributes toolbar, drag the Border slider to the left a little to flatten out the creases on the surface of the base.

Material Gallery effect applied

Select the Transform tool. In the Freely transform section of the Attributes toolbar, select Resize. Hold down on the Shift key while dragging a corner control point to make the base about 2/3rds of its original size. Then drag on one of the middle control points to make the base a little narrower. You should end up with a shape like this one.

reshape base

You'll need room to make the lamp, so drag the lamp base over to a corner of the base image, or even out of the base image into its own window in the work space. This would be a really good time to save the lamp base to My Objects in the EasyPalette Libraries.

Next we'll make the glass lamp, freehand.  Return to the 400 X 400 image and choose the Path Drawing tool again.

Choose View, Guidelines & Grid, Grid to display the Grid. To set the Grid's attributes so that it's easier to make the lamp, choose File, Preferences and click select Guidelines & Grid. Create black grid lines 20 pixels apart by entering the values shown below, then click OK.

Guidelines & Grid preferenes

In the EasyPalette's Material Gallery, choose Plastic and double click Remove Material to get rid of the previous preset. Click Shape in the Attributes toolbar and select the Bezier/Polygon tool. (It looks like a checkmark)

Bezier/Polygon tool

At the intersection of a horizontal and vertical Grid line, click to start the path and a red control point will appear. Drag up and at a slight angle (inward one vertical line) to create a narrowing at the top of the lamp. Click to make another control point, then drag over one vertical line to the right and click again to make another control point. Drag down at the same angle used to make the first vertical line in the path, then click at the intersection to make another control point. Now double click to close the path.

create path for lamp

Click the Toggle button in the Attributes toolbar to see your custom-created path in 3D Round Mode. You might not get the shape you want the first time out. That's OK, just delete it and try again until you get a shape you can live with.

lamp in 3D Round Mode

When you're happy with your lamp, choose View, Guidelines & Grid, Grid and deselect Grid.

Drag the black lamp base under the lamp and line the two objects up to make sure they fit well together.

If the fit isn't accurate, select the Transform tool, Resize option. With the Resize option you can make the lamp taller, wider or narrower until it's proportioned correctly and makes a good, smooth fit into the base.

align base with bottom of lamp

Save the lamp object to My Objects in the EasyPalette Library.

Now we just have to make a small "cap" for the top of the lamp. With the Path Drawing tool still selected, click Shape in the Attributes toolbar. Select Rectangle. Draw a small rectangle that will serve as the cap.

cap for lamp

To avoid repeating myself, follow the same basic guidelines discussed earlier for using the Path Edit tool to edit the top and bottom of the lamp base on the cap. You'll want the cap to have the same slight downward "dip" in a shallow curve that you made on the lamp base.

If you can't figure it out or you just don't want to go to the trouble of editing the cap, you can probably get away with putting it on the top of the lamp as is. Apply the same Material Gallery, 3D Collection, Black preset to the cap that you used for the lamp base.

add cap to top of lamp

Position all three objects as they will appear in the finished image. Choose the standard selection tool with the Shape set to Rectangle in the Attributes toolbar. Make a selection around the objects and click the Crop button to crop the image. Note that the objects remain free of the base image. This is one of the wonderful improvements in PI5 that I just love, the ability to crop without merging!

Right click on the lamp object and Duplicate. Drag the duplicate into the work space, where it will open in its own window.

Return to the lamp and click on it to make sure it's active. In the Attributes toolbar, choose Selection from the Mode dropdown list. The lamp will disappear and be replaced by a selection.

lamp turned into a selection

Choose Edit, Fill. When the Fill dialog box opens, click on the Image tab and select File. Browse to the image file you want to use for the fill inside the lamp, then click OK. I'm using a dark green, marbleized texture.

Fill dialog box

Right click on the filled selection and Convert to Object.

Drag the duplicate lamp object onto the image with the Pick tool. Position it carefully over the top of the filled selection. In the Attributes toolbar's Order options, click the Send Backwards down arrow 2X to place the lamp behind the base and cap.

In the EasyPalette's Material Gallery, right click on Blue 4 and select Modify Properties and Apply. Doing so opens the Material dialog box. Click on the Transparency tab. Change the Transparency to 95 and the Minimum transparency to 10, which makes the glass more transparent.

edit Transparency

Click on the Light tab and change the Ambient light setting to 25. Click OK to apply.

Click on the Layer Manager in the EasyPalette. Select the green marble texture-filled lamp object, then hold down on the Shift key while selecting the glass lamp object. While both thumbnails are selected, right click anywhere in the Layer Manager and choose Combine as Single Object.

While the lamp object is still active, open the EasyPalette's Particle Gallery. Right click on Bubbles 4 and choose Modify Properties and Apply. When the Particle dialog box opens, change the bubble Size to 30. Click in the Body color box and select the gray-blue color at the bottom of the standard color selection. 

editing Particle attributes

Click the Random button as needed to redistribute the bubbles. You can drag individual bubbles in the Preview window to reposition them as needed. When you have a good arrangement, click OK.

Choose Web, Image Optimizer. When the Image to Optimize box opens, select the first option, "Base image with objects merged."

Image to Optimize box

Click OK to open the Image Optimizer. Save the image as a GIF with an easily-remembered name, e.g., frame1.GIF. I usually save to my Desktop so I can find the frames for the animation and delete them easily after assembling them in the GIF Animator.

After completing the Save, return to the image, right click and Undo to get rid of the Particle effect. In the EasyPalette's Particle Gallery, right click on Bubbles 4 and choose Modify Properties and Apply again. Edit the bubble attributes just as you did above, clicking the Random button until you have a different distribution of bubbles, then click OK. Choose Web, Image Optimizer and save this image as frame2.GIF. After Saving, right click and Undo to get rid of the Particle effect.

Repeat this process 4 or 5 times. It's a good idea to make a few extra frames for the animation because if you only make 3, you might not like the way they look together.

When you're finished making all of the frames, put them together in the GIF Animator. I used a delay of 50/100th's of a second per frame, but use a delay that looks good to you.

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